While NBC appears to be solidifying their efforts to oust Jay Leno and replace him with Jimmy Fallon, FOX is letting it be known that they’re very interested in having Jay Leno join their network for a new 11pm talk show. At 11pm, Jay Leno would have a half hour jump on David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel, putting Leno in an excellent ratings strength position. Further, while Jimmy Fallon has done an excellent job revamping Conan O’Brien’s old 12:35 time slot, it’s not clear whether he could carry the ratings strength of Jay Leno for THE TONIGHT SHOW or not. Conan O’Brien failed to hold on to Jay Leno’s old audience strength and was really pressured to leave the network.
Executives at NBC are less and less happy about Jay Leno’s jokes about how badly managed NBC is where it is now #5 among the network in the ratings, even now trailing UNIVISION. One NBC executive recently attempted to patch up relations with Leno, but Leno seemed to respond with a double heaping portion of NBC jokes in kind. Meanwhile, NBC is apparently moving ahead with plans to build a new theater in New York for Jimmy Fallon for his TONIGHT SHOW debut in 2014. This also seems controversial, because LA has been THE TONIGHT SHOW home for many years now.
At 62, Jay Leno still has many good years left in him. And he has a proven loyal audience following as well. Right away, after Leno was restored to THE TONIGHT SHOW helm after the failed experiment with Conan O’Brien, the ratings of the show shot up to similar levels before Leno was asked to retire from the show by NBC executives.
Likely, Jimmy Fallon gets the NBC helm, but his ratings fall below Leno, but are above where Conan O’Brien fell. That leaves NBC with yet another ratings disaster, although Jimmy Fallon is a potent entertainer, and has awesome potential. He’s one of the best things at NBC right now. So NBC is willing to bet the farm on him.